Mouthwatering simple dishes, Gail’s Kitchen – a taster | Gail’s Kitchen, 11-13 Bayley Street, London WC1B 3HD
Tucked away behind the hustle of Tottenham Court Road lies not one, not two, but three gems. Gail’s Bakery and Gail’s Kitchen with Myhotel Bloomsbury appropriately sandwiched between the two. Gail’s Kitchen - a recent offshoot of the bakery with ex River Cafe chef James Adams fronting the kitchen. A daily changing menu of small plates from £7 upwards, many based around bread and cooked in the bread oven. Back to Myhotel, we stayed at the Brighton branch a while ago, read our review here
We were delighted to be invited to a preview evening, although unfortunately Ade was unable to make it. I took the opportunity to launch a fresh food blogger - Meals in my Heels into the blogging stratosphere.
Inside is a lovely space, light and rustic, white wired seats alongside a tan leather banquette that stretches along the wall. A welcome cocktail consisting of Earl Grey, rum and homemade marmalade was a struggle to make last. When something a simple as Fried artichoke with lemon gets you licking your fingers you know you’re onto a good thing. Warm nuggets of Aubergine, chickpea with sesame and nigella seeds were bursting with flavour that I didn’t want to leave my mouth.
Scallops with pea puree and lardo was a more earthy dish, and my first time eating lardo, a more pleasant experience that I anticipated. Braised octopus with labneh, chickpeas and sumac took me back to the octopus I had at one of my favourite places – The Table. Although the toughness of the flesh let it down slightly.
Pizza bianca, with mozzarella, Parma ham, confit artichokes and a olive crumb looked like a fine pizza with a golden and crunchy base, but a no-go for me with my ever increasingly annoying cheese hatred. Doggy bag alarm bells should have rung for my dairy-loving co-blogging husband.
A cheese break was welcomed with Chargrilled whole pigeon with romesco and rainbow chard. I found myself nibbling away at the tiny bones for more of that sweet flesh.
Panzanella made with homemade focaccia croutons and isle of Wight tomatoes was one of my favourite dishes, bread and tomatoes are a match made in heaven, you just can’t go wrong. The chunks of bread soaked up the tomato juices like a sponge.
English Asparagus out the wood oven with a fried duck egg and manchego again was a no-no, although it looked delicious.
And guess what came next? Yep, more cheese. Although it was an incredible looking array of the dreaded stuff. Stawley with apple jelly, Raclette with ratte potatoes and roasted shallots, Burrata with blood orange & mint. Served unusually before the desserts, but with their sweet accompaniments it made sense.
A nostalgic rush was delivered with the warm and gooey chocolate chip cookies and ivy house jersey cow milk. No warm school milk here, this was ice fresh and served in old-school milk bottles with red and white paper straws. Coincidently, Ade had recently bought me both of these items from our Joy, our local overpriced shop at work.
English rhubarb fool was served with the most amazing shortbread that I’ve eaten in years, served warm. Then there was Chocolate cake with almond crunch and crème fraiche. A perfect Grappa panna cotta speckled with vanilla pods and jewelled with pomegranate. A zingy hit from the blood orange sorbet, so fruity and not watered down as it can be. Hazlenut ice cream was pretty much perfect also, basically the table was littered with outstanding desserts.
The star of the show was the ice cream sandwich – toasted brioche with cinnamon sugar, salted caramel and home churned vanilla ice cream. Wow. One of my top ten desserts, I only wish Ade had been able to share it with me as this is his idea of euphoria.
I think if and when I visit again (which I hope I do), not ordering the entire menu will be devastating.
Lunch 12pm-3pm (4pm Sun)
Dinner 5.30pm-10.30pm (Mon-Thurs)5.30pm-11pm (Fri, Sat)
Bar open 7am-11.30pm Mon-Sat, 8am-5pm Sun.
12 dining stools around the bar & open kitchen are available for walk ins
Book a table here
Nearest tube: Goodge Street